Local Wire

The Clientele

Last year, in these very pages, I noted that the fabulously suave, poetic, and pillowy English band The Clientele "pulls off the rare, swell trick of reminding you of literally dozens of artists — the late Arthur Lee, Dream Syndicate, Mercury Rev, Felt, Lightning Seeds, Galaxie 500, Nick Drake, The Byrds, Belle & Sebastian, Colin Blunstone, and The Smiths among them — while offering songs that are far greater than merely the sum of those influences." For the most part, that assessment stands in regards to the quartet's just-released third album, God Save the Clientele. Perhaps the only difference is that this time, the music is a smidgen less nocturnal and melancholy. Lambchop producer Mark Nevers, who oversaw the recording of the album in Nashville, seems to have encouraged brighter songwriting along with the stylish inclusion of lap steel and other Americana textures. Still, The Clientele remains as evocative and alluring as always and is well on its way to becoming the best dream-pop band ever.
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Michael Alan Goldberg